Western Australian BMC
Michael has been a member of the Branch Management Committee since 2014 and is the current President of the Western Australia Branch. Michael is a Curtin University graduate and has experience across the health spectrum as a case manager for complex patients within the health system. Michael has a particular interest in the social determinants of health, the complexity of mental health and substance use, and trauma-informed practice. Since his election in 2016, Michael has worked with the WA branch to gain better access for regional and remote Social Work practitioners.
Dawn is a Senior Social Worker and has work in the Pilbara for the last twenty five years and has managed various roles within Country Health. Often being the only ‘known’ Social Worker she has often had to ‘think outside the box’ and worn many hats including; counsellor, crisis support, community leader and representative, solution finder and radio show host. Working at the intersection between some of the poorest people in the state alongside the challenges of instant wealth, her work fields cover; health issues, drug and alcohol, domestic violence and remains the town’s ‘chief problem solver’. As Vice President of the WA Branch, Dawn has been instrumental in setting up regional practice groups and remains an advocate for regional/remote social worker in identifying the inequitable outcomes of ‘rural areas.
Michelle Blogna has a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and has worked many roles at Indigo Junction including working with youth, families and predominately in homelessness prevention. Currently, Michelle is working with complex care leavers which she finds very rewarding. Michelle has worked on providing the Evidence Base for the Strong Fathers’ Project and is a passionate part of the Indigo Junction team looking to improve outcomes for the people in her community.
Jason Ellis has extensive experience working across the CAMHS, Youth and Adult Mental Health service sector for government and non-government services for over 20 years. Jason has extensive experience in the managing and implementing mental health services for children and adolescents, youth and adults. He has overseen the implementation of Youth Axis, headspace Youth Early Psychosis Program and the Youth Hospital in The Home service and played a critical role in the planning, recruitment and retainment of staff within these services. As the Co-Director Mental Health Specialties Jason plays a critical role in providing strategic and operational leadership for State Forensic mental Health Services, Older Adult mental Health Services, Youth Mental Health, the Neurosciences Unit, Centre for Clinical Interventions and WA Eating Disorders Outreach and Consultation Service. In addition, he has also held critical leadership and strategic roles as the Chair of the headspace Fremantle, Rockingham and Mandurah Clinical Reference Group, Deputy Chair of the WA Suicide Prevention Network governance committee; WA branch committee member of the Australian Association of Social Workers, member of the Sustainable Health Review Clinical Reference Group, member of the Youth Health Policy working group, member of the Joondalup Wanneroo Mental Health SubNetwork and Advisory Panel member for the Mental Health Network (MHN) Training and Orientation Project.
Jason leads through collaboration. He has been a champion for consumer and carer participation, supporting the introduction of a peer support worker at Youth HITH and collaborated on projects with young people with a lived experience. Jason has also been a champion in improving service delivery to Aboriginal and CaLD communities.
Paul studied at the University of Western Australia graduating with a BA Psychology, and a Master of Social Work. With an extensive working background spanning more than 30 years in which he has served in many roles including Leadership, Management, Learning and Development, and Occupational Health and Safety. Paul is passionate about helping people to be the best version of themselves. He resonates strongly with the social work values of social justice and advocacy. He has recently returned from the Kimberley where he has been working with disadvantaged and neglected aboriginal populations in rural and remote communities
ACAT assessor, Swan Aged Care Assessment Team
Helen St Jack
Helen is a regional Social Worker living and working in Albany. She has a background in legal practice and social work and currently has a dual role at Relationships Australia WA as the Albany Branch Manager and the Redress Case Manager for the Redress Support Service in the Great Southern. In that role she works with survivors of institutional child sexual abuse to provide counselling and assistance around the National Redress Scheme process.
She is interested in contributing to the BMC as a regional social worker because she have a strong belief in the importance of equity of access to training and continuing professional development for non-metropolitan social workers. More broadly, Helen is committed to the promotion, development and growth of our profession and to improving outcomes within our communities through evidence informed social work practice.
Ryan is an empathetic counsellor who believes in identifying and enhancing the strengths of children, adults and families. He has over 16 years’ experience working in leadership and mental healthcare-counselling roles. His work has included facilitating overseas community development and awareness trips, group work, family mediation, providing clinical supervision, and one-to-one therapeutic counselling. Ryan’s tertiary studies in Psychology (BPsychSc (Dist) ECU), Social Work (MSW (Dist) UWA), and Healthcare Leadership (Grad Cert. (Dist) SCU) have primarily focused on children and family therapy. Ryan is trained in Compassion-Focused Therapy, Interpersonal Psychotherapy, CBT (plus intensive cognitive “rewiring”), and Motivational Interviewing, and specialises in working with blended families. Ryan has worked in private practice, for non-for-profits including outreach-work, within the WA government school system, and in CAMHS for WA Country Health Services. Being a father and working in the education department for over ten years, Ryan understands the complexity of family issues and has a deep care for the wellbeing of children. This means he is passionate about supporting optimal outcomes for individuals and families to function healthily. Currently, Ryan works as a Suicide Postvention Program Coordinator, supporting mental health practitioners within three programs across the Perth metropolitan area. Ryan serves as a WABL under 18’s Basketball Coach with the Lakeside Lightening, and is a dedicated AASW WA Branch member servicing on the Engagement and Membership subcommittee, and the SW Mental Health Private Practice group.
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